Rins works well to secure an excellent 3rd place finish.
Iannone quick and in lead group before a crash.
Guintoli collects useful data as the team look to 2019.
The 2018 Japanese GP took place under sunny skies in front of 55,000 passionate motorbike fans at Twin Ring Motegi.
Ahead of the 24 lap race the riders opted for the medium-medium tyre combination. From their second and third row grid spots, Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were able to get good starts, with the latter slotting into 5th place on the first lap. Both riders set fastest laps as they quickly joined the leading group. With ten laps to go, Team SUZUKI ECSTARs riders were holding 4th and 5th respectively. However, Andrea Iannone crashed out of the race at Turn 10. Fortunately the Italian was uninjured. Meanwhile, Alex Rins took on the chance to fight for the podium, challenging Crutchlow for 3rd. With two laps to go, following a crash from Dovizioso, Alex was elevated to 3rd place and he crossed the line very close to 2nd. Sylvain Guintoli completed the race on the GSX-RR carrying some evolution solutions and collected useful data.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
It was a good race and a good fight! It was a pity that Andrea crashed, his bike had some issues and Im sorry for this. But his performance was very good up until the crash. Alex also performed well and he was able to fight for the podium and try for 2nd position. Were very happy and pleased to show this result to everyone from Suzuki Motor Corporation and our President, and of course, to all of the Japanese fans too. We hope to continue in this good way.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
Of course we are very happy about this race because both riders were very fast and close to the top group. Unfortunately, Andrea crashed when they were both in the battle for 4th and 5th positions. After that Alex managed to recover and get closer to Crutchlow. We got a little bit lucky with the fall of Dovizioso, but I would say that our pace was there – it was very strong. So were feeling good because our gap, even to the winner, was very small. Well continue to work very hard as we know we still have things to improve. I would like to say thank you to our President and all our engineers who are here today and have worked very hard all year, Im glad we could achieve a podium in Motegi for them.
Im feeling really happy and so are the team, especially as Japan is the home race for them. We did a great race; I was able to overtake riders at the start, and have good race pace. After Andrea crashed I assessed the situation and thought Crutchlow might be too far in front, but I decided to try and catch him. But it was difficult to pass him because he was braking really hard. But finally we got 3rd and were so pleased. Im still learning, and for sure its fun to fight with the other riders, even if its very hard. Well try to end this season with more podiums!
Unfortunately I didnt get the best start, but I recovered quickly and pushed hard. Then I began to feel vibration on the rear and I struggled on the braking points, but I was able to overcome these things and continue to push. But under braking at Turn 10 it was difficult and I lost the front. I gave everything in this race and I think the podium was possible also for me, but unfortunately these things can happen. Im really optimistic for Phillip Island, its a place I really like!
We were expecting a busy weekend with a lot to do in terms of development, so the main aim was just to find the most positive points of the new things. The base bike we have now is very good, as Andrea and Alex showed today with their pace. So we just need to find small margins or gains with next years bike and in that respect we did well. Its been very satisfying to see the team doing so well. We have another couple of tests coming up, and theyll be really important to see how we can further improve.
GP of Japan – Race Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 42’36.438
2. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL +1.573
3. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +1.720
4. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +6.413
5. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team +6.919
6. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +8.024
7. Maverick VIALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +13.330
8. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team +15.582
9. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing +20.584
10. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +24.985
11. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +25.931
12. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +26.875
13. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +27.069
14. K NAKASUGA Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing +32.550
15. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +37.718
16. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing +39.583
17. Jordi TORRES Reale Avintia Racing +39.839
18. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team +42.698
19. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +49.943
20. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +52.707
21. Sylvain GUINTOLI Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +1’01.848
29 Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
17 Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team
43 Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing
41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
MotoGP World Standings 2018:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 296
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 194
3. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 185
4. Maverick VIALES Yamaha 155
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 148
6. Johann ZARCO Yamaha 133
7. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 133
8. Jorge LORENZO Ducati 130
9. Alex RINS Suzuki 118
10. Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 113
11. Dani PEDROSA Honda 95
12. Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 83
13. Jack MILLER Ducati 74
14. Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 38
15. Tito RABAT Ducati 35
16. Pol ESPARGARO KTM 35
17. Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 34
18. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 32
19. Bradley SMITH KTM 23
20. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 19
21. Scott REDDING Aprilia 12
22. Mika KALLIO KTM 6
23. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 5
24. Katsuyuki NAKASUGA 2
25. Michele PIRRO Ducati 1
26. Thomas LUTHI Honda
27. Xavier SIMEON Ducati
28. Stefan BRADL Honda
29. Jordi TORRES Ducati
30. Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki
31. Christophe PONSSON Ducati